Cycling the Portuguese Camino: Coimbra to Santiago de Compostela

Pedal along Portugal's northern coast on this guided bike tour.
  • Length 12 days
  • From USD$5895
  • Style/Level Classic 2.5
  • Countries Portugal
    Spain
  • Begin/End Coimbra /Santiago de Compostela, Spain
See related tours

Pedal along the rivers, coasts and valleys of Northern Portugal and learn about the cast of characters that founded the country we now know as Portugal in the 12th century. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Coimbra, Porto, Ponte de Lima and Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Cruise along the Douro, Minho and Lima rivers – on your bike. Take the time to taste and savor the gastronomic specialties of the area and enjoy the changes that come with crossing a border as we cycle into Galicia, Spain. With 3 wine regions along our route and a blend of fresh seafood, hearty stews and modern day gourmet there is something for all tastes.

Our route crisscrosses the Portuguese Camino as we follow in the footsteps of royalty such as Queen Isabel of Portugal who did this pilgrimage in the 13th century. We’ll touch on two versions of the Camino — one along the coast, and the traditional interior route to reach the enthralling towns of Barcelos, Ponte de Lima and Baiona and then Pontevedra, Padron and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. A generous dose of Southern European hospitality and lifestyle makes this a unique and wonderful bicycle tour.

If this sounds good but you don’t have time for the 12-day tour, join us for the last 8-days on Cycling the Portuguese Camino: Porto to Santiago de Compostela

Highlights

  • UNESCO Towns: Coimbra, Porto, Ponte da Lima and Santiago, Minho and Dour River Valleys, Vinho Verde, Douro and Porto Wines, Baiona’s Historic Port, Pimientos del Padrón – in Padrón Spain, Galician Countryside Cycling, Cycling Portugal’s Northern Coast

Includes

  • 12 days, 11 nights accommodation, meals as noted in itinerary, visit to Salt Factory, Porto wine tasting, guided city tours as described in itinerary

  • All Classic tour inclusions


Date Price Private room fee Note
Jun 4-15, 2024 USD$5895 USD$650 Contact us for availability
Jun 25-Jul 6, 2024 USD$5895 USD$650
Jul 16-27, 2024 USD$5895 USD$650  
Aug 20-31, 2024 USD$5895 USD$650 Departure confirmed to go! Filling fast!
DateJun 4-15, 2024
PriceUSD$5895
Private room feeUSD$650
NoteContact us for availability
DateJun 25-Jul 6, 2024
PriceUSD$5895
Private room feeUSD$650
Note
DateJul 16-27, 2024
PriceUSD$5895
Private room feeUSD$650
Note 
DateAug 20-31, 2024
PriceUSD$5895
Private room feeUSD$650
NoteDeparture confirmed to go! Filling fast!

Download Itinerary

We’ll send you a link to a full day by day tour itinerary that can be downloaded and printed so you can review all the details online and offline. This packet also includes details about what to expect on tour and arrival and departure details.
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  • Total distance 476 km (298 miles)
  • Average daily distance 52 km (33 miles)
  • Tour style Classic
  • Tour level 2.5

Highlights: Stay in a renovated 18th century palace, UNESCO World Heritage Town

Meet the group in Coimbra, Portugal – an easy train ride from Lisbon, and explore the streets that Afonso I, king of Portugal once walked. It is rumored that he was born in Coimbra and it is certain he was buried here in 1185. Arrive early to explore the historic center of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our hotel in Coimbra is located slightly out of town but its a perfect setting to begin a tour steeped in history and mythology. This historic country estate features beautiful grounds and was the site of a tragic 14th century love story between lady-in-waiting Inês de Castro and Prince Pedro. This is where we meet for our bike fitting and first dinner.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Quinta das Lagrimas

Highlights: Ride along the Mondego River, Explore the Aveiro canals

Exiting Coimbra you’ll follow the bike path along the Mondego River this morning. Our route takes you through the small towns of the interior as you head north to Aveiro on the shore of Aveiro Lagoon, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy a stroll along the riverfront or explore the city’s famous network of waterways with a canal cruise. Don’t miss out on trying the famed Fios de Ovos de Ovar pastries.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Moliceiro

Highlights: The history of salt, beachfront hotel

Visit a local salt factory to learn about salt’s integral history in the economy of this region as well as to learn about products that are made today. You’ll have a close-up view of the source as we pedal the salt flats before taking a short ferry ride along the Ria de Aveiro, an estuary teeming with wildlife. (Keep your eye’s peeled for flamingos.) It’s easy to see how water conquered land and shaped the towns in this area. The numerous oxygenated lagoons provide the seaweed that is sold to pharmaceutical companies, and is another important income source for the local economy. This evening, we’ll walk to a local hang-out for an aperitif together. There will be plenty of time for a dip in the ocean which is only a short distance from our hotel.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Furadouro Hotel

Highlights: Explore the interior, Porto

Today’s ride is a part of the Camino de Santiago so look for fellow pilgrims along the way. Our ride take us from a fisherman’s village along the Atlantic coast, to green pine woods, and a quiet bike path that will lead you directly to the heart of downtown Porto, or Ribeira do Porto as it is known locally. Before crossing the iconic metal bridge into Porto you’ll pedal through its sister city on the south bank, Vila Nova de Gaia, featuring docks lined with famous Porto wineries. Locals will tell you it is the best place to admire Porto from a far! As you make your way across the famous Douro River the colorful city of Porto will come alive before your eyes. Welcome to the home of proud happy people with a quick smile.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Boeira Garden Hotel

Highlights: Explore Porto, Pilgrim’s passport, wine tasting

Today you decide – explore the Douro by boat, take a scenic tram ride, or explore the intricate historic city streets of Porto. If you stay in town, don’t miss a visit to the spectacular Lello Library. For lunch, seek out a unique Francesinha sandwich with chips and sauce or – if you’re feeling especially brave – a bowl of Tripas á moda do Porto. This evening we’ll meet for a group tour and taste of the famous Porto wine in Gaia. You can pick up your pilgrim’s passport today so you can track your progress along the Portuguese Camino de Santiago which ends at Santiago de Compostela.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Boeira Garden Hotel

Highlights: Ride in Portugal’s Wine Country

Have you spotted the colorful rooster that is Portugal’s unofficial mascot? If not, keep your eye out; the rooster is said to embody the Portuguese love of life and it originates in Barcelos. But, before we get there, we must say goodbye to bustling Porto. We ride out on a bike path that eases us into the peaceful wine country. Expect fun hills and green lush vistas along the way along with plenty of other cyclists with whom to share an “OLÁ.”

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Bagoeira

Highlights: Explore historic Ponte de Lima

Today’s ride is short so you can take full advantage of beautiful country roads that lead to the oldest village in Portugal, Ponte de Lima. Often considered the postcard village of Portugal, Ponte de Lima is situated on the banks of Rio Lima and is the heart of the green wine region. It is also home to a very old tradition dating back to Roman or even Phoenician times: Vaca Das Cordas, or “playing with wild cows”. Vaca Das Cordas is a type of bull-running through town, followed the next day – generally in July, by the Festa do Corpo de Deus (Corpus Christi), when flowers carpet the streets. Stroll through the picturesque historic center and along an old bridge where you’ll likely spot pilgrims walking along the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Inlima

Highlights: Pedal to Spain, the beaches of Baiona, Columbus’s first port

On March 1, 1493 the first of Columbus’s ships touched shore in Baiona. The news of his “discovery” of America soon spread to the rest of Europe. Today’s ride follows the coast and Minho river as we pedal north towards this historic port and cross into one of the most beautiful regions of Spain, Galicia. Toast your arrival into Spain with a glass of Albarino or by relaxing on the beach in Baiona.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Parador de Baiona

Highlights: Explore Ria de Vigo, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Today’s ride starts out flanking one of the geographical features that characterizes the Galician coast – a Ría, or a drowned river valley that is open to the sea. Though a Ría is the opposite of a lagoon, they look the same. The ride skirts the city of Vigo and you’ll jump on a ferry to cross the Ría de Vigo. In 1702 a landmark naval battle (Battle of Rande) took place outside Vigo, the largest Galician city. The battle between Anglo-Dutch and French-Spanish fleet was over the arrival of Spanish galleons laden with an immense treasure of gold, silver and jewels. Though the story of what happened next varies a treasure hunt for the gold ensued and included Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. We’ll continue to pedal north to reach Pontevedra, our home for the night. It’s worth your time to explore the medieval heart with its old granite houses and spacious squares.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Parador de Pontevedra

Highlights: Scenic views of the Galician Mountains, Padrón Peppers

Leave the water behind today with a short climb to a mountain spine providing glorious views as a reward. It’s a perfect day for a picnic. Make sure to seek out some of Padrón’s infamous peppers. First brought from South America 400 years ago by monks and then grown in the gardens of a convent in the tiny village of Hébron, Padrón peppers became a quick favorite on local dinner tables – and are now famous throughout Spain. The monks traded the peppers for necessary items and 400 years later, they are still in demand. The peppers are no longer grown by monks but by generations of locals who have adopted both traditional methods and modern technology to offer their product to Spanish and UK markets. Watch out, these peppers are as addictive as popcorn but can catch you by surprise if you find a spicy one!

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Pazo Le Lestrove

Highlights: Santiago, St James Cathedral and the end of the camino.

A short ride through the country side brings us to the larger metropolis of Santiago de Compostela, one of the world’s most important religious and spiritual sites thanks to St. James and his shrine. Popular since the Middle Ages as a religious pilgrimage to visit the remains of the martyr St. James, the town and its associated pilgrimage routes continue to attract travelers of all types. Once we arrive, you’ll have ample time to discover the famous Cathedral of St. James, the heart of Santiago. Tonight, we’ll celebrate our journey’s end with a special farewell dinner.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel San Francisco

Highlights: Pilgrim’s Mass at Noon

We’ll offer a tour in Santiago this morning. You might also want to stick around for the Pilgrim’s Mass at noon at the Cathedral. If you would like to participate in these activities, schedule flights after 3:30 p.m. Buen viaje!

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.



Pre-trip planning checklist



  • Lovely, ever-changing route: Portuguese coast, inland countryside, Galician hills, roads, bike paths. Something to enjoy in each town we stayed in, beyond the wine and pastry.

    Anne K., Portsmouth, RI – June 2019
  • Magnificient way to discover Nothern Portugal. This country is friendly and it is warm and beautiful.

    Isabel M., Granby, Quebec, Canada – July 2019
  • Marvelous!!

    George E., Tacoma WA – August 2019